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14 November 2009

A Couple of Videos

I haven't written in a while, just because I have been incredibly busy with work. As such, I am just going to repost a couple of videos that I found out there on some other blogs.

I’m always astounded at how poor data-gathering devices we humans are. Forget all the hallucinations and misinterpretations, we simply don’t notice or retain most of what happens around us. Here’s a great demonstration (via Richard Wiseman’s blog)

How did you all do?

This is one of the reasons we developed the scientific method. Trusting our senses and powers of observation failed us too many times. We recognize our own shortcomings and try to overcome them. If someone says that they saw it with their own eyes, or that they just know something happened, then I am more likely to conclude that the exact opposite of what they say happened, or that what actually happened in no way bears any resemblance to what they said.

And then of course, there is utter silliness, especially some of the crap people will believe:

[NSFW language and some effects.]


Anyway, just a quick post, gotta go.

02 November 2009

Carl Sagan Day, November 7th

This may be about the only thing that will have me missing FloriDUH (from Dr. Plait's blog, jsut spreading the word as it were):

If you’re anywhere near southern Florida on Saturday, November 7, then you need to get yourself over to the Broward County Community College, which is holding the very first celebration of Carl Sagan Day!

saganday

It’s in honor of Sagan’s birthday, which is on November 9th. He would’ve been 75 this year. Sagan inspired a generation of astronomers, and in reality a whole generation of people to look at the sky and appreciate the — yes, I’ll say it — cosmos.

Celebrating his life is a great idea, and the folks at BCCC have a full day planned (the schedule is online in PDF and Word formats). A lot of good speakers will be giving talks, including my friend Jeffrey Bennett (who wrote Max goes to the Moon series of kids’ books), skeptic and "Point of Inquiry" podcast host D. J. Grothe, and NASA astrobiologist and impact expert David Morrison (via satellite). I’ll be giving my Death from the Skies! talk at 4:00 (with David there, I’ll have to be on my toes). They’ll be showing "Cosmos" continuously in one room, with kids’ activities in another. There’s a planetarium show in the evening, too.

And this will be very special: James Randi will be there, talking about Sagan. The two were friends. Randi has a lot of personal insight on the man and will have wonderful things to say. This is a don’t-miss opportunity, folks. I think I’m looking forward to that part most of all.

For more info, there’s contact info on the Carl Sagan Day website. Also, there’s a writeup in the Broward/Palm Beach New Times.

This really will be a fun and wonderful tribute to Sagan. I’m very pleased and honored to be a part of this great day for a great man.

01 November 2009

So fucking backwards (Insult post)

Okay, so there was a "big poll" on Facebook that asked if you trusted the bible or science more... I can't believe that the poll (last I checked) was at 50/50. Pathetic! And a common statement I saw: "Science is always changing, but the bible stays the same."

How can one short sentence actually contain that many mistakes and misconceptions in so few words? Wow, this is total and epic failure of synaptic activity! Where do I start?

First of all, the bible fables most of you mentally castrated simpletons are reading in no way resembles the bible of a thousand years ago. Heck, even in the past 500 years it has had quite a a few edits. The KJV is even under attack by the fucktards at Consevipedia, and they want to take out all the "liberal bias" in the bible. WTF?!

And complaining that science changes? I suppose you were fine with barbers being surgeons then? Or would you prefer to go back to a goat herding lifestyle in the edges of the Mediterranean Sea? If anything, the constant changes of science is its greatest STRENGTH. it actually has the ability to correct for mistakes and get rid of ideas that don't quite fit. The bible has no such mechanism, so instead you get apologists that have to rationalize slavery, genocide, sexism, etc...

Man, I am so fucking disgusted with people adhering to bronze age mythologies in this day and age. I don't care if you think you are smart (and well, you may be), but you are foolish beyond measure. So please, if you cling to these childish and frankly dumb beliefs, don't expect me to respect you. I will deal with you on a rational level, and will treat you as a human being, but just know that in reality I feel sorry for you. Living in such a small mind and world when the universe is so much more spectacular than your petty little god or bible could ever imagine.

Personally, I think all the theitards out there are just pissed off that they can't go out and conquer some slaves, and can't publicly admit to their desire to subjugate their women. Fucking bronze age barbarians.